“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what you’ve read the past week and planning to read next.
Happy Monday everyone! I for one am still recovering from our long and tortured trip back to the U.S. Let’s just say our travel day lasted nearly 26 hours and involved three planes, at least five “people-movers”, one canceled flight, one delayed flight, a pat-down in Germany, and the real kicker, a two-hour wait for in baggage claim thanks to our “good friends” at United Airlines — who decided they wouldn’t transport luggage to baggage claim during a storm, even though every other airline seemed to accomplish this task just fine.
I’m back but now I have to study for the GRE so I’ll be blogging a lot less in the next month. But here’s the Monday recap.
During my two weeks of traveling I read:
- The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. Great start to a fantasy series, with interesting characters and magic powers playing a role but, like George R.R. Martin, not overwhelming the story and characters. I look forward to reading more.
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. Great whodunit, with a surprising twist. I won’t say more.
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Classic science fiction. I may have read it years ago as it seemed very familiar, but it was definitely worth a reread! Ender is a fascinating character and this book really transcends the genre. It came with an interesting introduction by the author explaining how this book came to be written. More than anything it’s about children who are not allowed to be children, who are used and manipulated by government. I’ll write more in a future post.
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I started this one in Poland, inspired by all of the devastating Holocaust history we were surrounded by. Then I felt overwhelmed and needed to switch to some non-Holocaust-related reading. Came back to this one during an 8-hour train trip, and couldn’t put it down. It’s about a young girl living near Munich during World War II, but it’s written using death as a character. It surprised me to say, this book lives up to all the hype. Absolutely amazing. I thought it might be gimmicky or over the top but it wasn’t at all.
- Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson. Perfect book for a long travel day. This is a mystery/thriller about a woman who loses her memory each day as she sleeps, and wakes up not knowing where she is. It would be ridiculous if I didn’t know there are actually people with variations of this condition. This book isn’t literature but it is a well-written, entertaining, edge of your seat read.
And of course, the ever-present Rick Steve’s Eastern Europe, which we wore to tatters and threw out in pieces as we traveled. Thank you, Rick Steves.
What am I reading now?
Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. So far I’m really enjoying this book. It’s about turn of the century life in Hawaii, the end of Hawaiian royalty and the takeover of the U.S. government, and most of all about the enforced quarantine of native Hawaiians with leprosy. Even young children were taken from their families and forced to live on the separate island of Moloka’i. It’s gut-wrenching and I look forward to learning more about what really happened. It seems that leprosy is a disease that became common due to the visits of non-Hawaiians to the islands, and the Hawaiians total lack of immunity to such diseases. Was it necessary to isolate every man, woman and child with leprosy to avoid its spread? In the book they don’t really know how it’s spread. In some ways these people are cared for by their government but in other ways they are separated from their loved ones and left to die horrible deaths. Fascinating and tough reading.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. A look at what happened in the Channel Islands of Great Britain during World War II, when they were occupied by the Germans. The book is written in the form of post-war letters from Guernsey residents to a journalist interested in their story. So far I’m not loving this book, but I’ll keep at it. The history is interesting.
So that, and my guide to taking the GRE, are keeping me busy. So long and happy Monday!